What is a Smoothtop Range?

J. Beam

A smoothtop range is an oven range that lacks the traditional range burners and is instead perfectly flat with the burners built directly into the top. There are several different makes and models and most major appliance manufacturers make a range in this style. This type of range has both advantages and disadvantages that are determined only by personal preference in the kitchen.

Cast iron pans should not be used on smoothtop ranges.
Cast iron pans should not be used on smoothtop ranges.

Many prefer the smoothtop range to traditional electric range burners for two reasons, with the primary reason being ease in cleaning. It is easier to clean than soaking drip pans and wiping off spilled food that has fallen beneath the drip pans and become burnt on to the surface of the range. Though many view this as an advantage, there may be just as many who find cleaning a smoothtop an equal chore. It must be cleaned with special solvents that do not scratch the surface. Foods spilled on it must be wiped up immediately to avoid permanent stains.

Cleaning agents aren't the only things that can scratch a smoothtop range surface. The cookware used on it must be carefully selected. Cast iron is not suitable for use on this type of range because it can so easily scratch the surface. For those who prefer to cook with cast iron, this makes the smoothtop range less than preferable.

The second primary advantage to a smoothtop range is the instant heat provided by the burners. Much quicker than electric burners when heating, the smoothtop burner heats instantly but cools very slowly, and the design makes it easy to have mishaps when first getting acquainted with the range. Many new owners have accidentally melted their plastic dishes or burnt themselves forgetting about the burner being hot.

Depending on your cooking preferences, a smoothtop range may be just what you’re looking for. The ease of use and cleaning makes it the ideal modern appliance. They are excellent for a quick cup of tea and accommodate the same size cookware as traditional electric ranges. They cannot be used with gas as they require a 220-volt electrical outlet.

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Discussion Comments


Why can't someone invent a smooth top gas range? I hate cleaning the top of my gas range.

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